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RattleSnake leads the way in fundraising

07 SEP 2017

By Peter Mumford

For many years, ClubLink has been the host of a significant number of charitable events, structured to raise money for important things like cancer research, various kid’s initiatives and national and local support groups. ClubLink members have been exceedingly generous as participants and helped raise millions for these worthwhile causes.

However, one Club in particular has brought the idea of charitable giving a lot closer to home by structuring an annual campaign to raise money for local charities. This year, RattleSnake Point will surpass $350,000 in total contributions from its members – money that goes to support charities in the Oakville and Milton communities and the broader Halton region.

The idea started over ten years ago when some members wondered if there was a way for the Club to support grieving RattleSnake Point families by making a donation to their charity of choice. Paul Whyte and Greg Bright formalized the concept into a structured annual fundraising campaign and made it an annual part of the Senior Men’s League. More recently, the Men’s League has also joined the initiative.

Here’s how it works:

Each year the Club Captain reaches out and asks members to nominate local charities that they believe would be good recipients. The emphasis is on organizations that receive little national funding; and charities that will use the donations to focus on programs rather than bricks and mortar.

Each charity must be registered with the CRA and typically the Club doesn’t fund the same charities in consecutive years so that they don’t get reliant on RattleSnake donations.

Gary Dobbie is the Senior League rep on the charity committee and says that the primary recipients tend to be those that support kids, women in distress and cancer rehab and hospice charities.

“Our primary charity that we support year after year is Food For Kids,” says Dobbie. “And starting this year, we are going to support the Ian Anderson House (a hospice in Oakville) and The Carpenter Hospice (Burlington) each year too. But the biggest donation is directed to Food for Kids.”

RattleSnake Point Director of Operations Craig Cupido, Senior League Captain Greg Bright and Men’s League rep Dan Colagiacomo make up the balance of the charity committee. For Cupido, who is new to RattleSnake Point this year after his tenure at Glencairn Golf Club, the charity component of his new job was a real eye opener.

“These guys have been doing this a long time and I’m new to it but it makes you proud to be involved with a program where we’re giving something back to the community,” he says. “They deserve a ton of credit for all the money that’s been raised and the people that have been helped.”

This year the professional staff got on board with an auction at the beginning of the season that saw them raise $5,700 when members bid on playing lessons. The charity committee expects that 2017 will be a record year and hopes to hit $80,000 for the season.

Already in 2017, the staff and membership have raised over $65,000 that will be used to support nine very worthwhile charities - Food for Kids (provides packages of healthy food for kids with limited or no access to food each  weekend) ; in-residence based care for people in the final stages of life  hospices at Ian Anderson House in Oakville and the Carpenter Hospice in Burlington; the Bereaved Families of Halton-Peel (helping the bereaved learn to live with grief); the Halton Distress Center (providing support to help deal with distress) ; Golf for the Physically Challenged (helps physically challenged individuals both physically and mentally) ; the Lunch Box Cafe ( provides individuals with developmental disabilities an opportunity to learn employable skills); Shifra Homes ( maternity and resource center for young pregnant women); and Danielle’s Place for eating disorders.

While fundraising is the core part of the program, community involvement and the recognition of the Club as a philanthropic driver in the community is a key aspect to it too. Members often have a personal involvement with the charities and are gratified when they can provide additional support. The local charities are invited to a picture day at RattleSnake Point and often speak at Senior League luncheons. For members, it’s a very moving time as they get to interact with the people actually making a difference on a day to day basis.

Gary Dobbie, probably sums it up best when he says, “It’s really a way for those of us that are more fortunate to reach out and help those in our community that are in need.”

Peter Mumford is the Editor of Fairways Magazine. Follow him on Twitter @FairwaysMag